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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 64

Postscript.—To My critics

Postscript.—To My critics.

"In after dinner talk
Across the walnuts and the wine"

the idea of those Peeps into Politics arose. Begun in an idle hour, they were yet written seriously as a test of their author's theory that the newspapers did not present to the mind of the public pictures vivid, yet truthful, of the men and measures, which occupy public attention. Their author believes fully in Macaulay's doctrine, that a well-written history would supplant, on every drawing-room table, the latest and freshest of novels. The success which attended the appearance of these brief essays has fully supported his theory. "Ignotus" has heard his "Peeps" loudly praised and loudly blamed; but the praise which he most sought has been meted out to him in the admissions that his criticisms have been fair and accurate. On one point only has "Ignotus" had the truth of his articles questioned, that is in his estimate of Mr Ormond, and he believes it is due to Mr Ormond's shy, cold, reserved manner keeping him largely unknown. Having carefully watched Mr Ormond's career from the day when he took the oath and his seat for the first time in the House of Representatives many years ago in Auckland; being aware that in his later years Mr Ormond largely guided Sir Donald McLean, and was, in fact, though not in name, for years a powerful Minister without a portfolio, "Ignotus" has never ceased to believe that the day would come when Mr Ormond would become Premier of the colony, believing that Mr Ormond and not Major Atkinson should have been chosen to lead the party, and however excellent a subordinate, Major Atkinson was not a capable leader, "Ignotus" saw with still greater regret that after Sir William Fox's defeat of Wanganui, Mr Ormond was passed over for Mr Hall, and his worst fears were more than realised; for Mr Hall has shown the most [unclear: mar] vellous incapacity. "Ignotus" is in no why whatsoever connected with Mr Ormond, and is only prompted to put forward so boldly that gentleman's claims to office, because he is [unclear: n] firmly convinced that his estimation of him is correct. "Ignotus" always believed that Major Atkinson, Sir George Grey and Mr Hall would not make great leaders like Sir E W. Stafford, Sir W. Fox, Mr Weld and Sir Julius Vogel, in their bright days, and he has unfortunately seen his beliefs proved correct. He has confidence that Mr Ormond would make an excellent Premier, and as his former beliefs proved right, he is the more emboldened to insist on the correctness of his present some After a careful study of the eighty-eight names on the roll of the Lower House, and after patiently weighing: them one by one [unclear: i] the balance, "Ignotus" is convinced that the public must agree with him in thinking that no member, except Mr Ormond, has any qualifications for the leadership.

If these papers have done any good—if they help even a few to see the present drift of our politics more correctly, "Ignotus" will feel content, and will be pleased if he has helped to—

"Ring in the valiant man and free
The larger heart, the kindlier hand
Ring out the poorness of the land,
Ring in the Chief tha is to be."


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